cropped-butterfly-2.pngI’m sorry you found my blog.

HA!  What a funny thing to say on a blog!!  But seriously, if you landed here, you either know me, or know someone that has cancer.  That’s why I’m sorry!

Cancer.

I hate that word.

I remember sitting in the oncologist’s office in my early 20’s listening to the Dr. tell me that while it was not likely I would get Ocular Melanoma like my Mom, 3 out of 4 people would be diagnosed with some sort of cancer in their life.  Since all of my Grandparents and my Mom have died of some type of cancer, I knew my day would come.  I just never thought my diagnosis would be the day after my 41st birthday and as a mother of a 10, 7 and 6 year old.

This blog is my journey as I fight to leave cancer behind and move on in my life.

I should probably back up and introduce myself . . . my name is Jennifer.  I’m a Christ follower, married to an amazing man (who happens to be a chef), have 3 beautiful daughters and I’ve been diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer which has spread to my sternum.

I know it can be confusing when you stumble upon a new blog, so let me help you get started.

  • I have a blog to keep track of my thoughts and to let friends and family know what’s going on.
  • You can get to know our family or read my personal testimony here.
  • As I’ve been going through different procedures, I’ve written down what it was like.  You can find a list of those over in the side bar (or down at the bottom if you are on a mobile device).
  • Click here to receive an email when I publish new posts.
  • And finally, if you noticed above that I’m married to a chef and think that must be the MOST AMAZING THING EVER, click here and browse through my blog about what it’s really like to be married to a chef.  (I love blogging.  Can you tell?)

Jennifer

Here’s what’s going on with me right now . . .

This Time of Year

Since my original diagnosis was in the fall of 2015, this time of year there tends to be lots of appointments and scans. There is my follow up with the oncologist, the mammogram, bone density test and PET Scan or CT Scan. This year, I’ve added in a few more because I love them so much. I’ll also be seeing an orthopedic Dr. and visiting the radiation oncologist again. More on that below…

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Jennifer – read this if you think of trying to take the hormone blocking pill again (and other stuff)

This is a note to myself in case I ever have the thought again to try taking an aromatase inhibitor.

Don’t. Just don’t.

Remember the constant pain, making it hard to take care of your home and your family. Remember how that pain made any other pain 10 times worse. Remember the horrible quality of life and that it is not worth it.

Okay enough of that…here’s what’s been going on.

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Time with Others

We are back from a fabulous vacation with family and starting to get into our summer vacation routine (sleeping late, chores, time with friends…etc.) For some reason the weather seems to think it’s spring instead of summer (God, can you bring the sun back please?), so I’m thankful we had some very hot weather while we were gone. It has been raining a lot, but at least our grass is still green. 🙂

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Infusion with a View

What a beautiful view!

I slept well last night! This afternoon I drove up to Ballard for my appointment and had an Alpha-Lipoic Acid IV. The view above was my view during the infusion. Not bad. 🙂

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Supplement Side Effects

So apparently DIM (diindolylmethane) doesn’t help my bone pain AND it makes the entire upper part of my body itch. That’s been fun!

Last night, between the bone pain and the itching I thought I was loosing my mind. As I was standing in the shower at 3 am, trying to get some relief, I was crying, praying and trying to decide whether or not to wake Tom up because I was just miserable.

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Medicine Update

It’s been about 3 weeks since I started taking Aromasin. I started having mild pain over the weekend, but wasn’t sure if it was from working out hard at the gym or from the medicine. It wan’t bad and it came and went a few times over the weekend. Tuesday morning I have throbbing bone pain all over and realized that it was indeed the bone pain side effect from the Aromasin. 🙁 But still no depression! 🙂

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So far so good

well I’m on day 11 of the new pill, and so far no side effects at all. I am very thankful for that. Please keep praying with us that it will continue that way if it’s the Lord’s will.

I’m still working with my physical therapist and exercise specialist and that is going really well. The more we work with my shoulder, the more I realize how much surgery and radiation truly did to that part of my body. Yesterday, Kalen, my awesome physical therapist, tweaked one of the exercises I was doing that was really difficult by adding a resistance band, and that little bit of resistance caused my shoulder to actually function normally for the first time in as long as I can remember. That was really exciting, as it gave us both hope that the problem can be resolved. Everyone in the office probably heard how excited we were, as this was a pretty big deal. LOL.

When you see medical professionals on a regular basis, they truly become like family, as you get to know them and if they get to know you. I probably mentioned that before about the radiation therapists, my doctors, and the nursees in the infusion center. I would have loved to get to know them for a different reason. But unfortunately that is not the case. I am so thankful for them, and their hearts that care so much about their patients. Valley Medical has been such a blessing to me the past four years.

tom-and-jennifer-ovalMeet Jennifer

Breast Cancer Patient, Chef Wife and Mom

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Resources:

How to help a friend or family member with cancer
Resources for Cancer 'Patients
neuropathy after chemo

What to Expect:

Breast Biopsy
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PET Scan
port surgery
Mastectomy
Reconstruction
oophorectomy
Radiation